On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia became the first city in Pennsylvania to enact a Wage Equity Law prohibiting employers from seeking or requiring a prospective employee to divulge information about their wage history. This law becomes effective May 23, 2017.
In addition to prohibiting employers from asking prospective employees about their wage history, employers are also prohibited from 1) conditioning employment or consideration for an interview on disclosure of wage history; 2) retaliating against prospective employees for failing to comply with requests for information pertaining to wage history; 3) relying on the wage history of a prospective employee in determining the individual’s wages, or negotiating or drafting an employment contract based on wage information, in each case, unless the prospective employee knowingly and willingly disclosed the information.
While it is likely that the law will be challenged, it is important that employers review their hiring policies and practices to ensure that they are compliant with the new law. In addition, employers should train their human resources personnel in screening, interviewing, and hiring prospective employees to implement changes necessary to comply with the new law. Nothing in the new law prohibits an employer from asking an applicant his or her wage or salary expectations if hired.